Buidling Dreams Together


Tough night for Celtic as Lazio kill the Hoops’ hopes of Champions League progression

Misery for Celtic fans tonight as the Hoops have officially been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League after finishing bottom of Group E thanks to a late Immobile double in Italy.
Credit: Getty Images

The first real chance came in nine minutes, as the ball was played to Felipe Anderson, who got a header off at the back post. He couldn’t get it right though and it went out of play.

With 15 minutes on the clock, a long ball from Alistair Johnston found Kyogo Furuhashi. The Lazio goalkeeper came out for the ball but Kyogo managed to take a touch past him. Through on goal, Kyogo had to grab the loose ball. Thankfully for the Italian side, a covering Lazio defender was there to bail Ivan Provedel out.

Three minutes into the second half, Matt O’Riley found Kyogo on the edge of the area. The Celtic striker took a shot but it went just wide of goal.

A fantastic chance came for Celtic next as James Forrest played a deep cross to Yang Hyun-jun at the back post. The South Korean winger could’ve easily opened the scoring, but he attempted to find Kyogo with a header across goal. Kyogo wasn’t there for the set-up and Celtic’s best chance of the game had slipped through their fingers.

Credit: Getty Images

With an hour gone, Gustav Isaksen took a first-time shot that looked destined for the Celtic net. To his dismay, the shot went wide.

As the final whistle was approaching, Lazio finally found the goal they had been searching for. Cameron Carter-Vickers was doing his best to keep Ciro Immobile out of the game, but a Lazio pass took a deflection past the American and into the path of the Lazio legend. He took a shot and smashed the ball past Joe Hart.

He doubled Lazio’s advantage just a few minutes later. The striker took down Liam Scales, which could’ve been a foul on another day, before beating Carter-Vickers and slotting it home.

Credit: Getty Images

In the final minute of injury time, the referee pointed to the spot after Oh Hyeon-gyu was pushed by Patric Gil. Despite it looking like a clear penalty, VAR intervened after Lazio players made their disagreement towards the decision apparent. The referee was called over to the monitor and overturned the decision.

And with that, Celtic cannot qualify from Group E. The Celts haven’t won in the Champions League for 15 games now, with three draws and 12 losses.

Credit: Getty Images
From a Celtic fan’s perspective…

We need to do better, there’s no question about that. At the start of the season, myself included, were hoping that we could make it into the knockout stages of the competition, or at least do enough to make it into the Europa League.

While we can look at individual results and be happy with them, performances were not the best they could be at times, and we could do with serious improvement in a multitude of positions.

Brendan Rodgers has done his best with what he has at his disposal, and although I don’t agree with the role that Kyogo is being asked to play (on the surface, obviously, we don’t know what he is being told to do behind the scenes), I think that Brendan is a great manager and will take us to glory.

But hey, there’s no point dwelling on the past. What’s done is done, so we may as well look forward to (hopefully) another successful league campaign. Plus, there’s always next season!

Credit: Getty Images

Get your Champions League fix – read about what happened elsewhere in the Champions League.